History of the Mirage Part 3 – Las Vegas Advisor

2 minutes, 43 seconds Read


Over the past two days, we’ve covered the opening of the Mirage and all the new concepts and operational efficiencies it introduced to the casino world. Today, we bring the story up to date.

It’s hard to believe, but Mirage Resorts, Inc., Steve Wynn’s company that consisted of the Golden Nuggets in downtown Las Vegas and Laughlin, the Mirage, Treasure Island (1993), Bellagio (1998), and Beau Rivage (1999), existed for a mere 11 years. 

Wynn wound up in a little trouble in 1999, when he was attempting something he’d never done before or after: trying to build two megaresorts simultaneously. Bellagio launched quite successfully in Las Vegas, but Beau Rivage in Biloxi got off to a rocky start. Combined with other factors, not the least of which was investor anger toward what some viewed as Wynn’s arrogant attitude toward analysts and shareholders, Mirage Resorts’ share price dropped from $26 in May 1999 to under $11 in February 2000.

It’s a long story that we told in another Question of the Day, but Kirk Kerkorian ultimately bought out Mirage Resorts. Wynn, of course, went on to build the Wynn and Encore and wound up in more hot water over misconduct allegations, but over the years, the Mirage luster inexorably faded.

MGM Resorts is partial to properties it built itself: the Grand, Aria, Park MGM. With the exception of Mandalay Bay, the company has either downplayed (essentially, let go to seed) or sold off its acquired hotel-casinos. In Las Vegas (and Laughlin), these include the Golden Nuggets, Circus Circus, Treasure Island, and finally the Mirage. 

Not that MGM didn’t make out like a bandit in its disposal of them, especially the Mirage. The company had already sold the land and buildings to Vici Properties in a $17.2 billion deal. MGM retained the operations, but offloaded the real estate of New York-New York, MGM Grand Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay, Excalibur, Luxor, Park MGM, T-Mobile Arena, and the Mirage. 

Then, in December 2022, Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, inked the deal to buy the Mirage’s operations from MGM for $1.1 billion. For a couple of years, Hard Rock maintained that they would keep open the Mirage and transform the property while conducting business, a claim many found hard to believe. And sure enough, just a couple of weeks ago, Hard Rock announced that the Mirage will permanently close on July 17, 2024 to expedite the project. Hard Rock Las Vegas is expected to open by the end of May 2027. 

Time marches on and nothing remains the same; everything, in the end, is just a mirage. The Hard Rock will, no doubt, be a fine property as far as hotel-casinos go, and we look forward to seeing what the first tribal casino on the Strip will bring to fruition.

But no matter how estimable, even paradigmatic, the Hard Rock turns out to be, there will always be a hole at the center of it for many of us who were present for the transmogrification of Las Vegas by the Mirage. It was the first and the best of its breed and life in Las Vegas won’t be the same without it. 

No part of this answer may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without the written permission of the publisher.

This post was originally published on 3rd party website mentioned in the title of this site

Similar Posts